At this time of year we’d usually be visiting a load of bike shows and sharing news of the latest products that you can expect to see over coming months, but COVID-19 has scuppered all that.
This year’s iceBike, the big in-house show of Madison – home to brands like Shimano, Elite, Pearl Izumi, and DT Swiss – has been reinvented as digiBike. As the name suggests, it has gone online for 2021, and here are the highlights.
Some of these products are available already while some will appear over coming months. All will eventually be available on www.freewheel.co.uk.
Park Tool has a new quick-change bit driver set called QTH-1.
It’s a T-handled design and comes with these magnetic 1/4in bits: 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm and 6mm hex, T25 Torx and number two Philips cross tip.
Park Tool says it’s professional-grade and fully rebuildable, hence the £64.99 price tag. We can’t tell you how it performs yet but it looks pukka!
Eyewear brand 100% doesn’t have new models but it does have some new colour options.
Would sir or madam like the Speedcraft in a matt washed-out neon yellow with a flash gold mirror lens (£149.99), for example? They should have called this the rhubarb and custard colour scheme, in our opinion.
Or perhaps the Hypercraft in matt oxyfire with a smoke lens (£139.99)?
Neither of these options is yet listed on www.freewheel.co.uk.
Swedish brand Thule has a handful of new racks for mounting your bike(s) to a car.
The Thule TopRide (£200) is a fork-mount roof rack with mounting that’s said to be fast and easy for both thru-axle and standard quick-release bikes.
The Thule FastRide (£145) is a similar design but it’s for quick-release bikes only.
Light and Motion have several new lights, including the Vis Pro 1000 Blacktop (£134.99), which is aimed at commuters. Light and Motion says that it offers 1,000 lumens, features various different modes including ones for daylight safety, and has an IP67 rating, meaning that it can stand immersion in a metre of water.
The Vis 700 Tundra (£84.99) is designed for commuting too. This one has a claimed 700 lumen output, a daylight visible pulse mode, and an IP67 waterproof rating.
The Seca Comp 1500 (£199.99) has a maximum output of 1500 lumens (there's already a £254.99 Seca Comp 2000 in the range). Amber side lighting is designed to offer increased visibility on the road and can be turned off for riding trails.
Madison says that its Roam clothing is designed with ‘a relaxed style and cut, perfect for those rides with mates that end at the pub’.
The Roam Men’s Merino Short Sleeve Jersey (£59.99) looks pretty neat. It is lightweight (150g/m2) and made from a blend of 65% merino wool and 35% polyester.
The Roam Men's Cargo Bib Shorts (£79.99, pictured from the rear) feature deep cargo pockets on the thighs and five rear pockets offer loads of storage. There’s a non-bib women’s version (£64.99) with similar thigh pockets and another four built into the back of the high waistband.
A totally different type of product, the Mia (£24.99) is a stainless steel bottle – there’s no plastic anywhere – that is designed to be sustainable and re-usable for years. It has a 650ml capacity, fits in a standard bottle cage, and looks pretty cool for urban use.
A thermal version is priced at £34.99. Elite reckons that the vacuum insulation layer offers 12-hour thermal performance for hot fluids and up to 24 hours with cold.
The Kit Crono X aero bottle and cage system isn’t a new concept but the 500ml bottle is now smooth plastic rather than covered in indentations. The carbon cage version (25g) is £64.99 while the version with a resin cage is £24.99.
You mesh cargo pockets on the thighs and lower back for storing ride essential like food and your phone, the idea being that you can wear any top you like without needing to think about carrying capacity. Several other brands, like Rapha and Endura, offer shorts with similar features.
The shorts feature Pearl Izumi’s well-proven PRO Escape 1:1 chamois and cost £119.99.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.